One percent seemed tiny, but living in a meat and dairy society, I was pleasantly surprised at how open-minded Germans are about veganism. I spoke with and watched many meat-eaters support the local market not only because they know eating more vegetable-based foods are healthy for them and the planet.
This blew my socks off because in the States I feel many people live at one end of the spectrum. You are either a peace-loving vegan hippie or a manly man who has the right to bear-arms, hunts and grills deer-steaks in the back yard. There’s barely a fusion between the two and for many Americans eating 16-ounce steaks is what a man does. But this was opposite in Germany, where many meat eaters are open and supportive to eating alternative food.
Anyways, the Vegan Christmas markets are every non-meat eaters dream. From homemade meals to desserts, everything I tasted was heaven on earth. Goulash, doner kebabs, seitan chicken in peanut sauce, marzipan cupcakes and raw goji berry and coconut squares were the best things my tastebuds have ever tried.
Each stall was cutely decorated and it was a collection of like-minded people. From books to food products to condoms, there was something for everybody. I spoke with the director of a vegan river cruise that runs twice per year. Wow, how open-minded are these people?
When I first moved to Germany I had concerns about the availability of vegan products. After a bit of time and research, Germany was chocked full of the same stuff that we have in the states. In fact, due to EU food policies, the vegan options are healthier because of the lack of salt, sugar and preservatives in the food.
I loved the community and the atmosphere. The few people who I had conversations with in English were not like traditional Germans. They were relaxed and not as uptight about certain things. They were overall very friendly and hospitable people who invited me to other events in the area.
I could only wish the vegan markets were year round. But the Vegane Hannover group also offers a springtime market. For a mid-sized city, Hannover has a thriving Vegan scene and is one of the best in Germany. So when in Hannover at Christmas, experience these markets that run the first weekend in December.